FIRED UP – UNRATED EDITION (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
June 4, 2009 by Dennis Amith
“‘FIRED UP-UNRATED EDITION’ is a hilarious teen film that pokes fun on cheerleading films such as ‘BRING IT ON’ . The film delivers with mixed results, depending if you are in it for the outrageous humor, expecting a sex teen comedy or wanting to see a cheerleading film. Overall, it’s a decent popcorn flick that plays it a bit too safe for its own good.”
TITLE: FIRED UP – UNRATED EDITION
DURATION: 90 Minutes for the theatrical version and 91 minutes for the unrated version
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (2:40:1), English, French and Portuguese Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and Spanish 5.1. Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese
RATED: PG-13 (For Crude and Sexual Content Throughout, Partial Nudity, Language and Some Teen Partying). Unrated Edition is Unrated.
COMPANY: Screen Gems/Sony Home Pictures Entertainment
RELEASE DATE: June 9, 2009
Directed by Will Gluck
Screenplay by Freedom Jones
Executive Produced by Paddy Cullen, Will Gluck, Marcy Gross and Ann Weston
Produced by Matthew Gross, Peter Jaysen, Charles Weinstock
Music by Richard Gibbs
Director of Photography: Thomas E. Ackerman
Edited by Tracey Wadmore-Smith
Casting by Lisa Miller
Production Design by Marcia Hinds
Art Direction by Bo Johnson
Set Decoration by Karen Agresti
Costume Design by Mynka Draper
Nicholas D’Agosto as Shawn Colfax
Eric Christian Olsen as Nick Brady
Sarah Roemer as Carly
Molly Sims as Diora
Danneel Harris as Bianca
David Walton as Dr. Rick
Adhir Kalyan as Brewster
AnnaLynne McCord as Gwyneth
Juliette Goglia as Poppy
Coach Byrnes as Philip Baker Hall
John Michael Higgis as Coach Keith
Smith Cho as Beth
Edie McClurg as Ms. Klingerhoff
Margo Harshman as Sylvia
Hayley Marie Norman as Angela
Jake Sandvig as Downey
Nicole Tubiola as Marcy
Collins as Pennie
This is not a cheerleading movie!
As the director and talent would say about “FIRED UP”, a “buddy” comedy film directed by Will Gluck (who has written for TV shows such as “Luis”, “Gary & Mike”, “Grosse Pointe” and “The Loop”) and a screenplay written by Freedom Jones (the name of four writing friends of Gluck’s that worked on “The Loop”).
The film stars Nicholas D’Agosto (“Heroes” and “The Office”), Eric Christian Olsen (“Eagle Eye”, “License to Wed”, “Cellular” and “Beerfest”), AnnaLynne McCord (“90210”, “Nip/Tuck” and “The Haunting of Molly Hartley), Sarah Roemer (“Disturbia”, “The Grudge 2” and “The Golden Door”) and model Molly Sims.
The film revolves around two high school football players Shawn (Nicholas D’Agosto) and Nick (Eric Christian Olsen) who are important football players for their high school but their main reason for being athletes is to date the hottest girls and literally to get laid. In fact, most of the time, they are constantly thinking and scheming about the girls at their high school.
But when the guys become enamored with the beautiful but not-so-talented cheerleaders at their high school, they figured that they want to join the cheerleading team in their hopes to score.
So, the two find a way to leave the football team’s football camp and join the cheerleading squad in order to attend cheerleading camp with their plan to have fun with the cheerleaders, get some quick love and then quit.
So, the guys join the Tigers cheerleading squad with the support of the squad’s adviser against cheerleading captain Carly’s (Sarah Roemer) argument against them. For Carly, she can’t stand the guys since it’s so apparent they are totally in it for the girls but since they were allowed into the squad, she has to put up with them.
At cheerleading squad, the guys learn that their high school has a rival cheerleading team (the Panthers) led by Gwyneth (AnnaLynne McCord) who tend to take the top honors during the cheerleading competitions, while the Tigers tend to be in the bottom and so, they are constantly made fun of.
And so the guys execute their plan of making out with as many cheerleaders as possible but Nick immediately falls for the cheerleading coach’s wife Diora (Molly Sims) and for Shawn, his attention turns to Carly.
Meanwhile at the cheerleading camp, both guys study the likes and dislikes of the cheerleaders at the camp and develop their game plan while having to live in the same dorm with the male cheerleaders (who happen to be all gay). But as the guys continue to stay longer at the camp, Shawn’s time practicing with Carly starts to rub off on him and he begins to enjoy cheerleading (to Nick’s dismay but because they are friends he tolerates it). And while training with their cheerleading squad, the girls on their team start to enjoy the guy’s company and the competitiveness they bring to the squad and how supportive they are.
But how long can their plan continue and will someone discover the Shawn and Nick’s original intention of joining cheerleading camp.
“FIRED UP – UNRATED EDITION” is presented in its original theatrical version or its unrated theatrical version in which the film gives you the option to have a marker (a star) and show the viewer which scenes have been added to the unrated version. There is only one extra minute in the unrated version and it revolves around a quick nude scene, short dialogue scenes spread throughout the film and sexual innuendo between a lesbian cheerleader and the girl she likes.
The Blu-ray comes with a second disc which is a digital copy of the film for your PC, PSP, Mac or iPod.
VIDEO & AUDIO:
“FIRED UP – UNRATED EDITION” is presented in 1080p High Definition with an aspect ratio of 2:40:1. One of the positives of this film is that it’s almost shot all outdoors. Outdoor scenes are full of sunlight with the blue skies and green grass really popping and the various cheerleading teams in their school colors all come out quite vibrantly. Even the evening scenes look good with no sign of digital artifacting or compression. So, picture quality is quite good because the majority of the shots are outdoors during perfect weather conditions.
As for audio, the film is presented in English, French, Portuguese Dolby TrueHD 5.1. The film is driven by dialogue, music and literally by cheers. Dialogue is clear and music plays a big part in the film. In fact, the director talks about a significant amount of money going into getting popular hits to be the soundtrack of the film and with the cost of those hit songs being utilized throughout the film, Director Will Gluck made the music a priority with the film. But with the utilization of lossless audio, what the film takes advantage of with the rear surrounds are the various cheers. When cheers are made in unison, you hear it all around you.
As for subtitles, the film is presented in English, English SDH, French, Portuguese and Spanish.
“FIRED UP – UNRATED EDITION” comes with the following special features:
- Audio Commentary by Director Will Gluck, Nicholas D’Agosto and Eric Christian Olsen – A very entertaining commentary as Will Gluck and the guys have fun and its almost like hearing your buddies talk in the locker room, so there is adult humor. For example, there could be a make out scene and the director would say, there’s one hand there and his other hand is ______. You also get to learn how the guys dislike the film being called a cheerleading film because it’s a buddy film that parodies cheerleading films. Also, you get some really interesting information about how expensive the music was for the film and how a lot of the budget went to getting that music with the hopes that the film would make a lot of money back in the box office. Overall, a mature-themed commentary but hilarious and fun to listen to.
- This is Not a Cheerleading Movie – The Making of Fired Up – (15:37) We learn of how the main talents had to undergo three weeks of cheerleading camp and really needed to learn their routines. The featurette has interviews with the talent of the film and having to deal with peacocks who constantly made noise while recording and of course the humor within the film. Overall, fun and entertaining. This feature is in High Definition.
- Double Duty – (6:29) A featurette about how both Nicholas D’Agosto and Eric Christian Olsen had to play football and learn to become a cheerleader. How Eric thought that they were going on football camp and learned that football was only a few days while cheerleading camp was three weeks and their was a lot of training from morning to the afternoon because they had to learn their routines and how difficult cheerleading truly is. This feature is in High Definition.
- Gag Reel – Unrated Version – (8:03) With a film liked “FIRED UP – UNRATED EDITION”, you realize how many of the mature-themed humor utilized improvisation and a lot of messing up. So, a collection of the mess ups and craziness that took place behind-the-scenes. This feature is in High Definition.
- ‘Fired Up’ Press Junket – Hour 12 Footage – (1:50) This scene is featured in standard definition and features the two stars being interviewed but when the interviewer calls the film a cheerleader film, they go ballistic and start beating up the interviewer.
When I first saw the trailers for this film, the first thing that came to mind was if “FIRED UP” is a mature-themed version of the popular cheerleading film “Bring It On”. With the cheerleading elements, suffice to say that as “Bring It On” was a high school teen film based on the passion of cheerleading competition, “FIRED UP” does have those elements.
As a matter of fact, in one scene in the film, Director Will Gluck features all hundreds of cheerleaders watching “Bring It On”, mouthing the scenes as if they watched and memorized the film. I couldn’t help but laugh.
But “FIRED UP” is not a cheerleader film in fact, its more of a buddy film about two guys who constantly think about getting it on with cheerleaders that they join the team. You get the stereotypical gay male cheerleaders (interesting enough that all are gay except Shawn and Nick), the lesbian cheerleaders and everything a guy could have in ways of cheerleading fantasy.
Personally, I found the film hilarious because even when I was in high school and a member of the football team, several football team players would gather after school and discuss quitting the team to become cheerleaders and the reason was similar to these two guys, the ability to be around the girls.
But of course, the exploitation of the stereotypes of cheerleaders are carried to the fullest extent in the film. The film is obviously going too touch some nerves. So, for those coming to see the film and are thinking “Bring It On”, they may end up being turned off as cheerleaders at cheerleading camp are viewed as a buffet for horny young men. The film plays off the fantasies of guys but obviously, the criticism the film received during its theatrical run obviously touched some nerves.
Overall, Nicholas D’Agosto who plays the character of Shawn and is almost like the spitting image of a brunette Owen Wilson and Eric Christian Olsen as Nick do a good job playing these two characters. In fact, these two have more chemistry together as a comedy duo than what I’ve seen in the “Harold & Kumar” films. And David Walton as Carly’s boyfriend, Dr. Rick is just the craziest young WASPy character I have ever seen a film in recent years. Just crazy!
Personally, if I had one problem with the film, I felt as if “FIRED UP” plays things a bit too safe. When listening to the Director Will Gluck and both D’Agosto and Olsen on the commentary, you could tell that these guys with their chemistry and humor could have gone much further. But learning that Gluck negotiated for the PG-13 rating and then seeing the unrated version, if the film is primarily about two guys who want to score and get laid, then why play it too safe. From “Caddyshack” to “Meatballs” and all those classic sex teen comedies, you might as well go far with the mature humor than go half ass. The film ultimately eventually becomes “Wedding Crashers”-lite.
Overall, “FIRED UP – UNRATED EDITION” is a funny and hilarious film. The plot is simple and you know how things are going to play out. But the Blu-ray does feature some really entertaining tidbits about the film especially with its outrageous audio commentary.
The High Definition video and lossless audio on Blu-ray is pretty solid for this teen comedy film. “FIRED UP” doesn’t go as far as you would expect from a teen sex comedy but because of its outrageous, obnoxious and wacky humor, in the end, “FIRED UP” is a fun popcorn flick that delivers with mixed results.
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